Winter Olympics: French Alps 2030 and Salt Lake City 2034

The Executive is running out of time: double simultaneous assignment for the Games. Swiss hypothesis for 2038, Sweden still rejected

Andrea Buongiovanni

After Milan-Cortina 2026, French Alps 2030. And after French Alps 2030, Salt Lake City/Utah 2034. The future of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics is outlined. The IOC established this in Paris during the first of three days of meetings of its Executive. It is only a strong “recommendation”, not yet a final decision. But it’s as if it were. Given that the two locations, at this point, remain the only ones in the running. The official assignment will probably arrive at the end of July, on the occasion of the 142nd Congress of the International Olympic Committee, also scheduled in the transalpine capital, on the eve of the Summer Games. “The IOC – explained Karl Stoss, a 67-year-old Austrian, former president of the national Olympic committee and current leader of the “future host venues” commission – will now enter into a detailed discussion with the chosen venues”. And he added: “For the 2038 edition we will carry on a privileged dialogue with Switzerland”.


The Swiss country itself is one of the disappointed ones of the day. The other – after the withdrawal of the Japanese Sapporo last month – once again (the ninth), is Sweden, with Stockholm. Both were candidates for 2030. Both, “especially due to the only partial support of the government and citizens, as well as a not entirely convincing plant plan”, said Stoss, were postponed or rejected. For Sweden, A country which, despite its great tradition, has never hosted the Winter Games, after the cold shower of 2019, defeat by Milan-Cortina, it is yet another failure. What is surprising is the timing of the decision: although the discussion on the matter was the most awaited on the agenda, it was not believed that the IOC would already be able to fully express itself. And if the promotion of Salt Lake City/Utah for 2034 was in some way foreseeable, that of the French Alps for 2030 only until a certain point, given the competition.

arm in arm

Thus, for the second time, the IOC has decided on a double, simultaneous assignment. The first in 2017 when, in a summer key, he attributed the 2024 edition to Paris and the 2028 edition to Los Angeles. Here then, again, is the France-United States axis. Both countries will experience two Olympics in six years. In both cases it is also a “return to the future”. The French Alps, with Albertville at the centre, were the site of the 1992 Games. Salt Lake City and its surroundings were the site of the 2002 Games. The transalpine event, the fourth in winter after Chamonix 1924 and Grenoble 1968, will have Meribel, Courchevel and Val d’ as its central fields Isere for alpine skiing, La Clusaz for Nordic skiing and Nice for ice sports (and the main Village). It remains to be seen where the ice hockey structure and the long track will be built. Regarding the latter, Stoss said: “It could be temporary or abroad.” A surreal suggestion? The Lingotto in Turin… Speaking of Italian connections: the possible and yet to be demonstrated one with St. Moritz dies even before being born. Salt Lake City/Utah will be safer: venues and facilities, revisited, will largely be those of 2002, with opening and closing ceremonies at the University of Utah football stadium and figure and short track in the Jazz arena ‘Nba.